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Social media sites users' choice between utilitarian and informational reinforcers assessed using temporal discounting

Robayo-Pinzon, Oscar, Rojas-Berrio, Sandra, Paredes, Mario R. and Foxall, Gordon R. ORCID: 2023. Social media sites users' choice between utilitarian and informational reinforcers assessed using temporal discounting. Frontiers in Public Health 11 , 960321. 10.3389/fpubh.2023.960321

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Objective: This study provides a first approach to the use of the Multiple-Choice Procedure in social media networks use, as well as empirical evidence for the application of the Behavioral Perspective Model to digital consumption behavior in young users in conjunction with a methodology based on behavioral economics. Participants/methods: The participants were part of a large university in Bogotá, Colombia, and they received an academic credit once they completed the online questionnaire. A total of 311 participants completed the experiment. Of the participants, 49% were men with a mean age of 20.6 years (SD = 3.10, Range = 15–30); 51% were women with a mean age of 20.2 years (SD = 2.84, Range = 15–29). Results: Among the total participants, 40% reported that they used social networks between 1 and 2 h a day, 38% between 2 and 3 h, 16% for 4 h or more, and the remaining 9% used them for 1 h or less per day. The factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) allowed us to identify a statistically significant effect of the delay of the alternative reinforcer, that is, the average crossover points were higher when the monetary reinforcer was delayed 1 week, compared to the immediate delivery of the monetary reinforcer. There was no statistically significant effect of the interaction between the magnitude of the reinforcer and the delay time of the alternative reinforcer. Conclusions: This study supports the relative reinforcing value of an informational reinforcement consequence such as social media use, which is sensitive to both the magnitude of reinforcement and the delay in delivery as individual factors. The findings on reinforcer magnitude and delay effects are consistent with previous research that have applied behavioral economics to the study of non-substance-related addictions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Frontiers
ISSN: 2296-2565
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 January 2023
Date of Acceptance: 24 January 2023
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 07:09

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